Autonomous Self-Parking And Charging Garages to be a Reality by 2019

JUL 16 2015 BY MARK HOVIS 5

Autonomous Charging

Autonomous Charging

In a few months an Audi Q5 will drive itself up several floors of a parking lot before both parking and being automatically charged by a robot at a garage in Stuttgart, Germany.

Thomas Schamm, Division Manager at research group FZI, says these types of systems could begin to arrive widespread as soon as three to four years as a subset to autonomous driving. Schamm explains how a parking garage may start out with “just one deck” dedicated to autonomous parking. A dedicated deck solves many problems as well as providing safer advantages.

*Original source article from Factor-tech by Matt Burgess can be found here

“The best option would be that the car doesn’t need any structure or communication, but just moves through the entry of the parking garage and then finds its way by itself and not following any other information,” Schamm said.

Not every spot in an autonomous deck would require a charging robot. In three to four years, most vehicles will be propelled by something other than electric. Furthermore, once fully charged, an EV could move itself to an empty spot and make way for another EV.  An autonomous deck also lends itself to possibilities for different size vehicles as well as the ability to park in compact spaces without the need for opening doors. This information could be collected upon entry to the deck.

Such advantages will make communication standards paramount.

Elon Musk also tweeted the possibilities of a robotic charge exchange earlier this year. The robotic arm approach will require industry charger standardizations as well. Such advancements in autonomous parking could expedite standardization for autonomous charging, and give way to wireless charging. Either way, communication standards are vital.

WORKING WITHOUT GPS

Due to the current connection limitations found in GPS navigation systems, Schamm said that the FZI researchers have incorporated “time of flight” cameras onto the cars that they have been working on. These cameras allows sensors to determine the depth of objects that they are coming up to.

inside2

Say Goodbye To trunk Space

Quoting Factor:

“It’s not just relying on GPS information,” Schaam said. “For the first thing you need to have is good information about the environment”.

This can include onboard information that is stored by the car. The information can then be fused with the data collected by the onboard cameras.

Schamm said that a method of fusing what the car sees and what it already knows can allow a picture of the environment to be created, and if researchers can “develop [an] algorithm to recognise landmarks” then automated cars will be able to cope when they lose their bearings.

The applications for autonomous parking opens many doors, from airport parking, to limited city parking. Autonomous charging opens even more door for EVs. Apartment dwellers lacking vital charging infrastructure could potentially be provided a solution within a decades time.

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5 Comments on "Autonomous Self-Parking And Charging Garages to be a Reality by 2019"

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Someone out there

So, are there going to be separate, incompatible auto-parking/charging robot systems for each brand of car in every parking garage then?

Someone out there

I feel it’s missing its mark a bit here. If we’ll get fully autonomous cars there will be no point in owning your own car anymore, you could just order a suitable car from a car pool whenever you need a ride. That in turn means that there will be much fewer cars around but they will be running more or less constantly unless they need charging. Hence, except for charging parking becomes unnecessary!

Alan Hay

Welcome to the future. Autonomous taxis, sans smelly, rude drivers with good Uber like software. Enthusiasts only will own cars but they will actually not be allowed to drive because of safety concerns. And all the vehicles will look like Google bubble cars:-)

Pushmi-Pullyu

If Tesla Motors is to be believed, self-parking cars will be here in just a couple of months, with the Model X. And altho “robotic snake” charging hook-ups don’t seem to be a reality yet, certainly wireless charging of cars is.

The future is already here!

* * * * *

The article says:

“In three to four years, most vehicles will be propelled by something other than electric.”

This seems rather confusing. I’m guessing this means “in three or four years, most passenger vehicles will still be gasmobiles”.

M Hovis

This is referring to who will be parking in an autonomous parking area which is independent of EVs. With all manufacturers working on autonomous features, the need for “designated” autonomous parking could be warranted in the near future. The opportunity to charge autonomously will need to be considered.

In the age of autonomous parking, you no longer have to view the parking space the same. Do you bring the charger to the car or do you bring the car to the charger? I think Schamm leans toward moving the charger. IMO, and it is just that, I think a wireless charger makes the most sense. Even so, you have communication standards to deal with.

Most importantly, autonomous parking and charging are not a matter of if but when. There are issues that have to be solved before both can happen.